As we transition into spring and start spending more time outside with our pets, it is important to remember some tick prevention tips for your furry friend. Ticks can be harmful to your dog if not removed. They can also transmit Lyme disease if not treated. Ticks can also be passed on through contact with other animals, so it’s always important to check for ticks after your dog has been out playing with friends!
Here is an overview of what ticks are and how to prevent them:
What are ticks?
- Ticks are members of the spider family and are strong biters. They are attracted to body motion, body heat and carbon dioxide.
- Ticks are ground dwellers, so they jump from low shrubbery, or the ground to latch on to your furry friend.
- They can be most commonly found on the body parts of your dog that are closest to the ground. These include the neck, head, around the ears, the front of the chest and the underside of the chest.
- Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, a serious illness which can spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. When a tick bites and begins to feed, the bacteria in the tick’s stomach begins to migrate via the bite wound to the blood stream of the dog who has been bitten. This can take 4-5 days to occur so the longer the tick remains on the animal, the higher the risk of Lyme disease is.
- There are some tick products that kill ticks before they can infect your furry friend. Speak to your veterinarian about what tick prevention products are best for your dog.
- Make it a habit to check your dog every time you come in from a walk or after they have been playing outside. Don’t forget to check their underside!
- Early detection is always best for treating ticks. If you find a tick on your dog, put it in a plastic bag and bring it to your veterinarian to be tested for Lyme disease.
- Removing ticks improperly can cause many problems. You can develop a preventative program with your veterinarian to ensure you are taking the right precautions and know how to properly remove ticks.
- For a step-by-step guide for how to safely remove ticks, watch this video: https://youtu.be/uLu6jXaK33c
Along with ticks, fleas can also become a problem for your pets as the weather warms up. Find out how to prevent, remove and treat fleas, here.